Olympus SZ-15

 
Olympus SZ-15 front
 
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 23-483mm (F2.8-5.9) lens
  • 250g - 108 x 70 x 40mm
  • Introduced June 2013
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
Portability
88
Imaging
41
Features
50
Overall
44

Olympus SZ-15 summary

Olympus SZ-15 is Olympus's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera initially launched on June of 2013. It features a 16 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4608 x 3456.

The SZ-15 is ranked #82 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & over-all #538 out of 1422 for digital cameras in our list. Please look at our Smart camera finder to see camera listings based on your customized criteria.

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Here is a diagram of different factors used in the rating system.

Olympus SZ-15 history

The Olympus SZ-15 has a history of related digital cameras. Below, you can see all earlier and new models alongside important specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Olympus-Stylus-SH-3 front thumbnailOlympus SH-3
SZ-15 vs SH-3
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2016
Olympus-Stylus-SH-2 front thumbnailOlympus SH-2
SZ-15 vs SH-2
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2015
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
Olympus-Stylus-SH-1 front thumbnailOlympus SH-1
SZ-15 vs SH-1
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Olympus-Stylus-SP-100 front thumbnailOlympus SP-100
SZ-15 vs SP-100
24-1200mm
F2.9-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Olympus-SZ-15 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-1523-483mm
F2.8-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Olympus-SH-50 front thumbnailOlympus SH-50
SZ-15 vs SH-50
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Olympus-SZ-16-iHS front thumbnailOlympus SZ-16 iHS
SZ-15 vs SZ-16 iHS
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Olympus-Stylus-SP-820UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-820UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-820UZ
22-896mm
F3.4-5.7
14MP1/2.3"2012
Olympus-SZ-31MR-iHS front thumbnailOlympus SZ-31MR iHS
SZ-15 vs SZ-31MR iHS
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2012
Olympus-SP-620-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-620 UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-620 UZ
25-525mm
F3.1-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Olympus-SZ-12 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-12
SZ-15 vs SZ-12
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
14MP1/2.3"2012
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Olympus-SZ-11 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-11
SZ-15 vs SZ-11
25-500mm
F3.0-6.9
14MP1/2.3"2011
Olympus-SP-810-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-810 UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-810 UZ
24-864mm
F2.9-5.7
14MP1/2.3"2011
Olympus-SZ-30MR front thumbnailOlympus SZ-30MR
SZ-15 vs SZ-30MR
25-600mm
F3.0-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2011
Olympus-SZ-10 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-10
SZ-15 vs SZ-10
28-504mm
F3.1-4.4
14MP1/2.3"2011
Olympus-SP-610UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-610UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-610UZ
28-616mm
F3.3-5.7
14MP1/2.3"2011
Olympus-SP-600-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-600 UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-600 UZ
28-420mm
F3.5-5.4
12MP1/2.3"2010
Olympus-SP-800-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-800 UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-800 UZ
28-840mm
F2.8-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2010
Olympus-SP-565UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-565UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-565UZ
26-520mm
F2.8-4.5
10MP1/2.3"2009
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Olympus-SP-590-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-590 UZ
SZ-15 vs SP-590 UZ
26-676mm
F2.8-5.0
12MP1/2.3"2009

Olympus SZ-15 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of benefits and drawbacks of the Olympus SZ-15 based on aspects which are oftentimes regarded as important in a digital camera.

amazing zoom range (23-483mm 21.0 x zoom)
built-in flash
comes with face detect focus
comes with tracking focus
great minimum ISO (100)
has HDMI out
has image stabilization (Optical)
has manual focus
lighter than others in class (250g)
MP count decent (16 megapixels)
pretty good screen size (3")
reasonably wide (23mm)
very long zoom (483mm)
video res high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
cannot switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
external flash not possible
no headphone support
no microphone support
no phase detect auto focus
no RAW support
no Timelapse mode
pixelated screen (460 thousand dots)
screen is fixed
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow at tele end (f5.9)
small sensor (1/2.3")
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Olympus SZ-15 Sensor specifications

The spec of the sensor in the Olympus SZ-15 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 4608 x 3456 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter can lead to cropping.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

The CCD sensor has 16 megapixels and includes a standard ISO range of 100 - 3200. Sadly, RAW format is not saved therefore you have less margin for error.

The picture underneath shows the SZ-15's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The SZ-15 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is pointed out in green.

Olympus SZ-15 sensor size Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus SZ-15 dimensions

Olympus SZ-15 has a weight of 0.55 lb (250 gr / 8.82 ounces) & the sizing of the camera is 108mm x 70mm x 40mm (4.3" x 2.8" x 1.6"). The weight of average Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr so the Olympus SZ-15 is less heavy when compared with other rivals.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Here is a shot of the Olympus SZ-15 alongside a softdrink to help you get a feel for its scale.

Olympus SZ-15 dimensions scale

The top view under will highlight the button layout on the SZ-15.

Olympus SZ-15 topview buttons dials

Olympus SZ-15 Lens specifications

The SZ-15 is equipped with a fixed lens providing a focal range of 23-483mm giving it a 21.0 x zoom which is outstanding and would allow you to zoom all the way in.

At the widest 23mm, the lens has an aperture of f2.8 making it very slow and not the best for low light situations and you will probably find it difficult to get good bokeh. You might also need to up the ISO causing noisy photos. At the tele end, 483mm is amazing zoom and comes at f5.9 making it very sluggish and you might need to utilize slower shutter speeds.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Olympus SZ-15 Connectivity

The SZ-15 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity can easily be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can send files and sometimes adjust camera settings with no need to connect straight to the camera.

Some applications even allow a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it could be attached to an external screen. Almost all cameras enable you to charge the battery pack through the USB port.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Olympus SZ-15 Video specifications

The highest possible video resolution in the Olympus SZ-15 is 1920 x 1080 and you can capture in AVI MPEG4 and Motion JPEG file format. 1080p resolution gives a great balance for video quality vs file sizes but 1080p won't leave you with any room to downsample. The camera does not offer a microphone and / or headphone socket which means that you have got no control over the audio. It is probably a better idea to look at an alternative model if you require decent audio for your videos.

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Olympus SZ-15 Weather Sealing

Olympus SZ-15 does not include environment proofing so wet conditions could ruin the camera.

Olympus SZ-15 Screen and Viewfinder

The Olympus SZ-15 features a 3 inch fixed display screen boasting a resolution of 460 thousand dots.

Please note that the display has no touch support.

Olympus SZ-15 screen and viewfinder Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

The View Finder specs for Olympus SZ-15 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

For sunny outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and tough to see, viewfinders will be very valuable.

Olympus SZ-15 Shutter specifications

Olympus SZ-15 has the ability to shoot continuously at 10.0 frames/s. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000s.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Olympus SZ-15 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Olympus SZ-15 has only integrated flash without external flash support.

Olympus SZ-15 Autofocus specifications

Olympus SZ-15 has just Contrast Detect AF & is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more faster & accurate when compared with Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera features Face detection which can be helpful for portraits.

It also comes with Tracking AF for objects that move. Olympus SZ-15 boasts manual focus if needed for low light situations or you need more exact control on focus.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Olympus SZ-15 Battery life

The average Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has got the best (600) battery life for this class of cameras.

Below is a number of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras that have the best battery life:

Olympus SZ-15 for different forms of photography

The following diagram presents a outline of the Olympus SZ-15 for different forms of photography. To check out more, browse to the specific section underneath.

Portrait photography with Olympus SZ-15

The Olympus SZ-15 gets a rating of 44 which is dreadful, and means the camera is just not suitable to use for portrait photography. Photographing portraits leans greatly towards sensor resolution, support for RAW photos & capability to utilize off-camera flash.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
focusing manually
MP count good (16MP)
features face detect focusing
external flash not possible
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support

Street photography with Olympus SZ-15

Getting a modest points tally of 60, the Olympus SZ-15 is reasonably appropriate to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera offers a perfect balance of picture quality plus portability.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than others (250g)
fixed screen
small sensor (1/2.3")
no RAW files

Olympus SZ-15 as a Sports photography camera

A decent sports photography points total of 53 means the Olympus SZ-15 is fairly suited for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs to have good autofocus and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
great zoom range (23-483mm 21.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
resolution is good (16MP)
provides tracking focus
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect auto focus

Olympus SZ-15 Travel photography features

Weight is really crucial when getting a camera for travel. All round, the Olympus SZ-15 gets a nice 68 as a travel camera which is a good choice to purchase for your journeys.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
lighter than competitors (250g)
decent megapixels (16 megapixels)
built-in flash
reasonably wide (23mm)
very long zoom (483mm)
no Time Lapse function
does not have a selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.8)

Olympus SZ-15 Landscape photography details

For anyone looking to choose a camera for landscape photos, the most significant aspect will be image quality. The Olympus SZ-15 and it's reasonable grade of 50 for a landscape camera is fairly appropriate compared to it's rivals.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
you can focus manually
quite wide (23mm)
screen size is good (3 inch)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
good resolution (16MP)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
no RAW files
doesn't have Time Lapse function

Olympus SZ-15 as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera really should posses a moving display screen, microphone input and preferably image stabilization. Taking all things in to account, the Olympus SZ-15 is just not suitable as a vlog camera as it delivers a dreadful rating of 34.

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pretty wide (23mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
offers face detection focus
video res high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
lighter than competitors (250g)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
screen is not selfie friendly
missing external microphone support

Olympus SZ-15 Alternatives

If you are in the market for replacements to the SZ-15, below is a list of the top placed cameras that fall within the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The diagram listed below shows you a summary of the SZ-15 compared to it's top rated competitors suggested previously.

Following are several cameras you may regard as alternatives. To read a complete comparison, click the "compare" link.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Specifications

General Information
Manufacturer
Olympus
Model
Olympus SZ-15
Type
Small Sensor Superzoom
Introduced
2013-06-21
Physical type
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CCD
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW pictures
Maximum native ISO
3200
Min native ISO
100
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Cross focus points
0
Lens
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
23-483mm (21.0x)
Largest aperture
f/2.8-5.9
Macro focus range
5cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen size
3"
Resolution of screen
460 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch friendly
Screen tech
LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Features
Minimum shutter speed
8 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
10.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
3.50 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
AEB
WB bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 480fps (176 x 128), 240fps (384 x 288)
Maximum video resolution
1920x1080
Video data format
AVI MPEG4, Motion JPEG
Microphone support
Headphone support
Connectivity
Wireless
Built-In
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
BuiltIn
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight
250 grams (0.55 lbs)
Physical dimensions
108 x 70 x 40mm (4.3" x 2.8" x 1.6")
Other
Battery model
SLB-10A
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Double)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots
1
Pricing at release
$200